Research & Development
Investing in research and new technologies is more vital than ever. Developments at Safran Filtration Systems draw on our proven expertise in filtration systems. We also apply a policy of knowledge transfer and skills management so that our technical teams can offer the solutions keyed to customers' most demanding requirements.
Safran Filtration Systems in fact boast 60 years of unrivaled experience in our core business of filtration. Year after year we invest 15% of revenues in R&D. Plus, we have united a team of top-flight engineers, backed by state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, including 3D CAD systems, test benches, non-destructive testing machines and more. And that's what drives our constant stream of innovations.
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Very-high-pressure hydraulics: the advanced hydraulic system on the Airbus A380 super-jumbo entailed meeting a series of technology challenges, especially on high-pressure filters. These filters operate at 5000 psi, a level previously seen only on modern jet fighters, with the associated requirement for high fatigue resistance. We rose to the demanding challenges of this program by using high-performance steels or titanium, optimized production processes for our filters, and extensive use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) design resources.
Eco Shift© filter: an incinerable filtration component reflecting an eco-design initiative, which calls on the latest developments in polymer and composite materials to offer weight savings of 30 to 70% versus conventional technologies. Fully interchangeable, these filters can be custom designed for each application, whether fuel, oil or hydraulic fluid. All technologies used on this product were developed and tested through the European AEROFIL project, in conjunction with two universities and two other companies, including the Airbus Group research center. It is already in use on the Trent 900, which powers the Airbus A380, the Trent 1000, which powers the Boeing 787, the TP400 turboprop engine on the Airbus A400M military airlifter, and the SaM146, powerplant of Russia's Superjet 100 regional jet.
Treatment of volatile organic compounds (VOC): air filtering isn't limited to just capturing particles. Improvements also depend on taking into account noxious emissions. Sofrance has developed a line of air filter cartridges based on an activated carbon fabric. Its advantage over conventional absorbents lies in the use of fibers offering a very high degree of microporosity. They deliver exceptional efficiency and adsorption capacity. Whether for industrial applications (regenerable or expendable), or aviation applications (tank vent hole, bleed air treatment, OBIGGS, OBOGS, etc.), Safran Filtration Systems developed VOC treatment solutions, coupled with particle and coalescent separations to provide the air quality needed for each specific application.
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Treatment of odors and bacteria: to improve the quality of cabin air in airplanes, it is now necessary to address olfactory disturbances and also prevent the proliferation of bacteria in a confined space. Safran Filtration Systems is working on technologies that combine particle filtration, catalytic effects and adsorption, to act on the three polluting components of recycled air. We have developed filters that combine particle capture with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) type efficiency, adsorption of odor molecules, and antibacterial treatment.
Our new products are developed by a design department counting 20 highly qualified staff. Using the latest design and analysis systems, our engineers can significantly cut development time on these new products.
Safran Filtration Systems optimizes filter design for all operating conditions using advanced tools such as Catia V.5, numerical simulation (CFD), fluid dynamics (under Fluent), studies of the mechanical behavior of materials, etc.
Calling on broad experience in this market, Sofrance has also developed our own in-house tools and applications, including load loss analysis in fibrous environments, mechanical sizing of cartridges and associated equipment, and life cycle analysis of environmental impact.
Safran Filtration Systems regularly works with European universities, especially on doctoral research projects, enabling us to enrich our own knowledge base and research tools.
Innovation at Safran
Technological excellence and an innovative mindset
Innovation is an integral part of Safran. A key to competitiveness, it underpins the development of outstanding products in all of Safran's core markets – aerospace, defense, security – while also reducing development time and cost. Innovation also plays a major role in developing safer and more ecological air transport, and making our lives safer and easier. Safran invests heavily in innovation, including a large Research & Development (R&D) workforce and state-of-the-art research centers. Innovation is also a mindset, reflected in shared expertise through a wide range of partnerships and a dynamic and successful employee-driven innovation policy.